Audubon On-line Bird Guide
Audubon has recently released an on-line guide to birds of North America. This guide covers all species of birds that breed in or regularly visit North America north of Mexico, as well as many of the rarer visitors.
To aid beginning birders with some of the more common identification problems, birds with similar structural features, especially the shape of the body and bill, are grouped together in a Resources section of the guide so that similar looking birds are shown together to better illustrate their differences. For example, the unrelated Great Blue Heron and Sandhill Crane— both tall, grayish birds with a long neck and a long, pointed bill–are shown juxtaposed.
Resources Page – A quick trip to the Resources page provides a wealth of information, all confidently grouped into useful categories. Want to find out what a scapular is? The answer is right there.
This handy section includes information on bird classification, natural history as well as a glossary of key terms. Of particular interest is the section on bird conservation.
Quick Guide – This section is a search aid that provides identification of species by grouping birds together in familiar categories. Clicking a category will lead you to a list of species within that category.
Family – This search function groups species by taxonomic family, listing all species in each of their families together with their relatives. If you click on Pheasants and Grouse for example, you will see a series of thumbnail photos and a brief description of the birds. A click on the bird takes you to a more detailed description.
Common Name – This is an alphabetical list starting with Abert’s Towhee and ending with Zone-tailed Hawk. You can also list them by scientific name in alphabetical order, a feature which may only appeal to keen ornithologists.
Range maps —The maps indicate typical North American ranges of the species, including winter and summer ranges and migration routes. Rare occurrences are shown in some cases.
Quick Link – Best of all, you can access all of this information simply by clicking on the following link.
Just bookmark it and you will never have to hunt again to answer that intriguing question while you are doing some armchair birding either at you computer or portable device.